WASHINGTON — Flour production in the second quarter of 2022 totaled 107,407,000 cwts, up 4,087,000, or 4%, from 103,320,000 a year ago, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Department of Agriculture. Second-quarter 2022 production was up 5.2% from 102,250,000 cwts in the second quarter of 2020. Production also increased 936,000 cwts, or 0.9%, from 106,471,000 cwts in the first quarter of this year.
At 107,407,000 cwts, production was the largest ever for a second quarter. The previous record for an April-June was 105,923,000 cwts in 2015.
For the first six months of the year, June flour output aggregated a record 213,878,000 cwts, up 3.3% from 206,955,000 in January-June 2021. The previous January-June high was 210,916,000 cwts in 2018.
US 24-hour capacity in April-June was 1,592,330 cwts, down 8,000 cwts from 1,600,330 in the first quarter but up 9,668 from 1,582,662 cwts a year back. The all-time capacity peak was 1,674,210 cwts in the third quarter of 2019, or a difference of 81,880.
Flour mill operating rate in April-June, based on a six-day week, was at 87.6%, up from 87.5% in January-March and from 84.8% in April-June 2021. The operating rate was the highest for any second quarter dating back at least as far as 2010.
The 12-month rolling flour production total (July 2021- June 2022) was a near record 428,099,000 cwts, up 5,574,000 from 422,525,000 cwts a year ago and the largest since the record of 428,142,000 cwts in the 12 months ended June 2018.
Working days in the second quarter totaled 77, compared with 76 days in the first quarter and 77 a year ago.
Wheat grind in the second quarter also at a quarterly peak 231,680,000 bus was up 0.6% from 230,268,000 bus in the first quarter and 3.8% from 223,289,000 a year ago.
Millfeed output in April-June totaled 1,684,355 tons, up 1.1% from 1,666,162 in the first quarter and 3.5% over 1,627,510 tons a year ago. The second quarter high was 1,770,686 tons in 2000.
The flour extraction rate in April-June was 77.3%, up from 77.1% in the first quarter and a year ago. It was 77.9% in January-March 2017 when extraction was the highest since the start of NASS statistics.
April-June semolina production increased 3.3% to 7,487,000 cwts from 7,247,000 cwts in 2021, the lowest in six years. It was down 1.7% from 7,616,000 cwts in the first quarter this year. The record was 9,155,000 cwts in April-June 2020. Semolina output in the first half of 2022 totaled 15,103,000 cwts, down 1.5% from 15,333,000 a year back and 12.7% from 17,295,000 down in January-June 2020, the record.
Semolina capacity stood at 134,730 cwts, up 3,000 from a year back. Semolina capacity utilization was 72.2%, against 76.1% in the first quarter and 71.4% a year ago.
Durum grind in the second quarter aggregated 15,382,000 bus, up 0.5% over 15,310,000 a year ago. It was down 3.9% from 16,014,000 bus in January-March. Durum grind in January-June aggregated 31,396,000 bus, down 3.5% from 32,549,000 bus a year back.
NASS data have now been issued for 32 consecutive quarters, or since July-September 2014. While data back to July-September 2014 were compiled by NASS, statistics spanning the period between July-September 2011 and the second quarter of 2014 originated from the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) panel of the largest US mills and subsequently underwent interpolation by Milling & Baking News to make the data comparable with earlier statistics compiled by the US Census Bureau.
US flour production ex-semolina in the second quarter was 99,920,000 cwts, up 4% from 96,073,000 cwts a year ago. It was up 1.1% from 98,855,0000 cwts in the first.
Rye flour production in the second quarter totaled 174,000 cwts, down from 200,000 in the first quarter and down from 201,000 cwts a year ago.
Leading the output in regions and individual states in April-June 2022 again was Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin at 11,805,000 cwts, up 4.9% from 11,253,000 in the same quarter a year ago. It was down 0.5% from 11,865,000 in the first quarter. Mills in this region operated at 93.9% of six-day capacity, against 95.6% in the first quarter and 89.5% a year ago. The state-grouping accounted for 11% of total production in April-June, against 11.1% in the first quarter and 10.9% a year ago.
Ranking second was Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington producing 7,631,000 cwts, losing 1.1% from 7,716,000 a year ago. It was also down 1.1% from 7,719,000 cwts in the first quarter. Mill grind averaged 79% in the second quarter against 81% in the first quarter and 79.9% a year back. This state grouping represented 7.1% of the national outturn in April-June, against 7.2% in the first quarter and 7.5% a year ago.
In third place narrowly was Kansas, passing California and turning out 7,474,000 cwts, up 7.5% from 6,954,000 a year ago. It was up 1.1% from 7,395,000 cwts in the first quarter. Grind rate in Kansas in the current quarter was 86.8%, against 86.6%% in the first quarter and 81.3% a year ago. The state represented 7% of the national output in the second quarter, compared with 6.9% in the first quarter and 7.5% a year ago.
California narrowly ranked fourth at 7,457,000 cwts and North Dakota fifth at 7,101,000 cwts. They were followed by New Jersey and New York, 6,454,000 cwts; Texas, 6,303,000; Ohio, 5,940,000; Missouri, 5,560,000; Minnesota, 5,169,000; Pennsylvania,4,957,000; Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, 4,424,000; Iowa and Nebraska, 4,328,000; Kentucky and Tennessee, 4,130,000; North Carolina, 3,682,000; Colorado and Oklahoma, 3,663,000; Maryland and Virginia, 3,294,000; and Michigan, 2,681,000. Other states were at 5,354,000 cwts.
US total capacity in April-June was 1,592,330 cwts, a decrease of 8,000 from 1,600,330 in the first quarter and an increase of 9,668 cwts over 1,582,662 a year ago. Capacity in most states and state groupings remained unchanged. Changes such as they were are highlighted by North Dakota gaining 7,000 cwts from the first quarter; Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, down 13,500 cwts from January-March but up 3,000 cwts from April-June 2022. In the first quarter of 2022, capacity in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina was up 17,500 cwts from the final quarter of last year. Capacity in Kansas was down 500 cwts from the first quarter of 2022 but up 668 cwts from a year earlier. Capacity in Colorado and Oklahoma was unchanged from the first quarter, but down 1,000 cwts from a year back.